Mozambique: Nyusi Urges New Prison Guards to Respect Human Dignity

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday urged prison guards to wield their knowledge and skills to better serve the prison population across the country, as well as ensuring that they are treated with full respect and dignity.

Nyusi made the appeal as he addressed the closing ceremony of the 17th basic training course for prison guards from across the country, in Maputo province. Since December 2020, the new prison guards have undertaken training which includes paramilitary instruction, prison management, and general training that covered fields of non-custodial sentences, penal law, human rights and much more.

"Our commitment to regular training and capacity building for prison guards is part of government policy under a general vision which attaches great importance to the value of human capital for the country's development," Nyusi said.

As Mozambicans, Nyusi declared, the leaderships at various levels, including the prison service, must all denounce and repudiate any violation of human rights.

Under no circumstances, he added, should prisons become stages for gross abuses such as those recently uncovered at the Maputo Special Penitentiary for Women (EPEMM), better known as the Ndlavela Women's Prison, where women inmates were forced into prostitution.

"Your presence in the prisons in partnership with your experienced colleagues must generate positive synergies which contribute for a better service delivery to our brothers and sisters under rehabilitation to facilitate their social reintegration when the time has come," stressed Nyusi.

Nyusi advised the new prison guards to take the path of honesty and avoid corruption. He acknowledged that prison wages remain very low, but that is what the country so far can offer. "Do not seek to earn more through illegal means, otherwise you will see how the guard may become a prisoner", he warned.

Corruption, he said, has harmful consequences for the country's social and economic development and the performance of the new prison guards will be assessed through the work they do for the prison population. The country expects a firm, proactive and technically competent presence from the new staff, he insisted.

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